Archive for the ‘Rock n Roll’ Category

A Day For Art Part 2

Posted: September 15, 2014 in Gigs, Rock n Roll

ArtFundraiserPoster3 Updated poster!

A Day For Art

Posted: September 2, 2014 in Gigs, Rock n Roll

Where have we been hiding for the past few months? Well, we regret to inform you that medical issues have prevented us from performing.


This time it’s personal! Art needs PROSTATE CANCER surgery in Toronto soon, and the cost is staggering. Therefore, in order to to raise much needed funds, we will be presenting a day of rock music featuring many notable bands, dedicated to Art the Fart the Heavy Metal Kid! Join us at Donegal’s Irish House in Surrey on Sunday, October 19th, and lend a helping ear! Tickets are available at the bar at Donegal’s, as well as through the inimitable Rosielynn Crosby. For $20, you not only get some outstanding and mind-blowing entertainment, but you get a Burger and a Beer! Yeah! That’s incentive enough for ME to be there!

Performers already confirmed are:

Danny O’s Blues Express
Joe’s Basement
Frank Soda
Dan Hare
Worms Hate Rain
House Party
Sparkling Apple
Tim Brecht
Pauline Kyllonen

and many more, soon to be announced.

Unauthorized video!

Posted: February 19, 2014 in 21st Century, Gigs, Rock n Roll

Sin City Photo

Here’s some unauthorized video of Sparkling Apple performing at the Rock For Kids 2014 Reunion! Annette McArthur was adamant that no videos be shot at the event (apparently ten bands specifically asked that video NOT be taken), but we still managed to obtain a bootleg video, shot by the enterprising and discreet Lisa Freakrock, which can be seen here until we are instructed to take it down! No actual professional gear was used for this, so we may have sneaked through a gaping loophole – and in any case, audience members with cell phone cameras were shooting vids/stills/selfies with wild abandon!

Shown on the link is our interpretation of AC/DC’s “Sin City“, by eery coincidence, performed on the anniversary of Bon Scott’s death in 1980.

Rockin’ for kids!

Posted: February 17, 2014 in 21st Century, Gigs, Rock n Roll

Colin stands beside the poster created for this event by Captain Maniac Graphics.


Photo by Jack’s Camera


Photo by Jack’s Camera


Photo by Lisa Freakrock.

Sunday, February 18, 2014, marked the return of the Rock For Kids fundraiser after a 20 year absence. As mentioned in a previous post, 15 — count ’em, 15 — bands appeared onstage at the Point Pub in an all-day marathon fundraiser for the Variety Club. To say it was a successful day is an understatement: a pantload of cash was raised to benefit the children. The entire event was put together by the extremely talented (and patient) Annette McArthur of Pitacharoo Media with her tireless staff of all the volunteers who took care of us and treated us like rock stars!  The MC for the entire day was the wild and crazy Scott Barratt, and our awesome host at The Point was Jamie Slater, who doubled as sound tech.


Photo by Aniko Mathieson


Photo by Aniko Mathieson

As Sparkling Apple was the first band of the day, I was there from 11:30 AM, and despite the fact that I’m now a legal senior, I lasted until around 7pm, when my tapioca pudding and slippers were beckoning! Yes, the legendary Sparkling Apple — well, we’d had some exposure in the hot-rodded & stripped down version of the band when we played at the Freakrock Jam a few days ago, so we were primed and all set to inflict some collateral damage on the unwary audience. Despite the early hour (the crack of noon), we did actually have an enthusiastic audience in attendance.One of the early birds was our friend Cindy Caverly, who’d seen us at a noon-hour sock hop at New Westminster Secondary some 40 years ago, and now wished to have some closure! Also in the audience was one of our first employers, Paul Bartram, who in the 70s ran Somewhere Else nightclub as well as The Dungeon (now the Giggledam Theatre) in Port Coquitlam — one of our first gigs in front of actual humans! (I told Paul the story of how Heart played at the Dungeon back in those days, and during a break, I went up to Heart’s table and said, “Great flute solo, Anne” — 40 years later, I’m asking myself, “Just WTF was I thinking??”).

Our set was much the same as the Freakrock Jam, mainly because our time slot allowed us only five songs. I played drums on the first two tunes (Get Off the Stove, You’re Too Old to Ride the Range and Shakin’ All Over), and then became front man for Crazy For Your Love, Roadhouse Blues and Sin City. Once again, Kelly Stodola played drums. Art the Fart the Heavy Metal Kid was still out of town on an environmental research project, so lead guitar was handled admirably and dependably by the always amazing Kevin Swain (often known as Kevy Ramone because of his black leather jacket). On bass guitar was the sensational and impeccably tailored Larry Pardue.


Photo by Rob Snopek


Photo by Rob Snopek


Photo by Rob Snopek


Photo by Rob Snopek


Photo by Rob Snopek


Photo by Rob Snopek


Photo by Rob Snopek


Captain Maniac on the drums! Photo by Lisa Freakrock.

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Sparkling Apple at Rock For Kids event. Photo by Annette McArthur, black & white tint by Kevin Swain.

Apple at Rock For Kids2

THIS is rock and roll! Kevin on guitar, photo by Lisa Freakrock.


Kevin and Colin, with Kelly Stodola on drums. Photo by Lisa Freakrock.


Kevin, Kelly and Colin. Photo by Lisa Freakrock.


Rock For Kids version of Sparkling Apple — photo by Cindy Caverly.


Captain Maniac in rock star mode! What a shot — thanks, Lisa!

We haven’t yet posted a play-by-play and post mortem review of our recent Sparkling Apple jam at the Point Pub in Port Moody BC —  so finally, here it is in all its inimitable glory! (All photos, every one of them including the video, by Lisa Freakrock.)

The incriminating video:

Yes, as we threatened in our last blog post, we were the “host band” on February 5, 2014 at the weekly Freakrock Jam . And truth be told, it went extremely well, considering we had to make do without our guitarist, Art the Fart the Heavy Metal Kid. Art, as we mentioned previously, was out of the country on a “rest and relaxation” seminar, so we performed the show with substitute players. As Rosie mentioned, we had to replace him with two people, but the stand-ins we chose were of high quality and impeccable calibre. Kevin stepped up to the plate and played lead guitar, Johnny Ramone-style (complete with ripped jeans and black leather jacket), and in HIS place, the bass guitar duties were handled by the incomparable Larry Pardue, a rock n roll veteran if there ever was one. As seen in the above photo, I sang lead vocals out front on a few tunes, so drummer extraordinaire Kelly Stodola was hand-picked to be guest percussionist.


Kevin channels Johnny Ramone!

First out of the gate was the Sparkling Apple classic, “Get Off the Stove, You’re Too Old To Ride the Range”, played in the style of  The Who (Kevin admitted that he had a brown Les Paul just like Pete Townshend, so he was comfortable in this role). Larry had only just heard this song on the Hard Core Apple CD, and Kevin had never played this tune on lead guitar before, but we were pleasantly delighted by the final outcome — it rocked beyond belief! Next, the old chestnut “Shakin All Over” segued into the familiar “feelthy” version of “Gloria”, followed by the Rolling Stones/Chris Farlowe song “Out of Time” (Lisa’s favourite song), with the unparalleled Larry Pardue on lead vocals.


On bass, the incomparable Larry Pardue (ex-Idle Eyes)

The jam then commenced, and several amazing players entertained us, including three actual bands (The Nerve being the highlight of the evening, in my not-so-humble opinion). At about 9PM, Sparkling Apple returned to the stage as “host band”, this time with Kelly Stodola on drums and Captain Maniac fronting. Three songs were performed featuring the peerless vocal styling of Captain Maniac on “the only song I know”, “Roadhouse Blues”, AC/DC’s “Sin City”, and our latest single, “Crazy For Your Love”. For the enjoyment of all concerned, no rap music was performed, and at no time were any animals harmed.

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Rock For Kids 2014

Posted: January 30, 2014 in 21st Century, Rock n Roll



It’s back! A rock ‘n roll fundraiser for Variety the Children’s Charity and the Variety Club Telethon! Sparkling Apple has been chosen to kick off the 2014 Reunion of the popular Rock For Kids event, held this year at the Point Pub (2524 St Johns St, Port Moody, BC). Joining Sparkling Apple is a star-studded roster of local rock bands in a 12-hour marathon of talent, including bands which played at Rock For Kids twenty years ago. Admission is only $10 for a full day of fun, and of course all proceeds will benefit Variety the Children’s Charity. We’d love you all to be there and help make this day Party of the Century, while at the same time helping a great cause.
Microsoft Word - ROCK FOR KIDS - Schedule


Kevin Stuart Swain with Sparkling Apple at the 1992 edition of Rock For Kids!


Sparkling Apple shirts a-plenty! Left to right: Scott Young, Michelle Yu, Captain Maniac itself, Rick Mearns and Lisa Freakrock. Also wearing a Sparkling Apple shirt was Kevin Stuart Swain; he’s not shown in this photo because he was onstage playing when Jack’s Camera snapped the picture!

Just in case you mistakenly thought that we were finally out of steam and out of commission, here’s proof that the band brand lives on. Last Sunday, September 9th at The Point Pub in Port Moody, BC, the jam formerly known as Kevin & Lisa’s Freakrock Jam was temporarily renamed for one night only as Captain Maniac’s Birthday Jam. Participants were encouraged to wear their Sparkling Apple t-shirts, and as seen in the photo above, several friends complied with this request. An enthusiastic and well-received jam session was the highlight of the day, featuring the usual suspects. Captain Maniac played drums on three songs with the house band, The Freakrockers, and later proceeded to do the Jimbo routine once again on a rousing & Philips Blue Buck-fuelled version of the only song I know all the way through, Roadhouse Blues.


Later the following evening, Captain Maniac made a live appearance on the radio show, Lisa Freakrock Live, broadcast on the Internet on A grab bag of headbanging hits (Captain Maniac’s personal choice of favourite tunes) was presented, as well as humorous anecdotes about the songs being played.

And yes, we caught the typo in the dialogue balloon, “Beter care of myself” – but YOU didn’t, did you? Har har!


Sparkling AppleSEPIA_1

We used this shot for our 1983 promo photos. Captain Maniac is in full rockabilly regalia! Photo by Hans Sipma

Our 1983 promo photos were taken by Hans Sipma, and on Googling his name I discovered that he indeed has a website and is still involved in the photographic industry. I emailed him, wondering if he still had photos from our 1983 photo shoot, and he graciously replied, saying “How very cool to hear from you. Yes I have a box of old band shots, and your file was pretty easy to find. We did this shoot on October 31, 1983.” He sent me the contact sheets, advising me that high-res shots could be obtained from him at a nominal charge. For your enjoyment, here are a few outtakes from that session – thirty year old photos, back when we was lads!

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Photo shoot by Hans Sipma. At this point, delirium sets in! Photo by Hans Sipma

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Outtake of above session. Buzz gets rough! Photo by Hans Sipma

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Outtake from above session. Art looks puzzled! Photo by Hans Sipma

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It’s only fair to warn you: Do NOT mess with these gentlemen under any circumstances. Photo by Hans Sipma

1974 Poster

Time for our monthly blog, and although there really hasn’t been much happening on the Apple front these days, we still thought you might dig one of our old posters from 1974.

A lot of folks have been asking me, “When did you first start using the name Captain Maniac?” With that in mind, here’s evidence to support the claim that we all started using assumed names around 1974. I think the main idea was that we didn’t wouldn’t want our *real* names to be known, particularly in slow times when we were collecting Unemployment Enjoyment or Warfare. We also thought it would be kind of cool to utilize stage names to set ourselves apart from the rest of the local bands! Therefore, we became known from then on as Rocky Rockamoto, the Hip Nip, on bass guitar; Captain Maniac on drums; and Art the Fart the Heavy Metal Kid on lead guitar.

Artwork on the above poster was done by yours truly, Colin Hartridge, in a blatant attempt to emulate (or rather, rip off!) the gatefold artwork in Pink Fairies’ then-current album, “What A Bunch of Sweeties”. Now you know! Hey, if Led Zeppelin could pass off an old blues tune by Willie Dixon as one of their own, then I could certainly “borrow” some inspiration from The Pink Fairies! Paul Rudolph would most likely approve.


I have no idea what “Aquarius” is supposed to mean at the bottom left of our poster, but Elvis Bizowski referred to one of our cast of onstage characters. I would be announced as “the world’s only Ukrainian rockstar, Elvis Bizowski,” all greased up in leather and sunglasses. I’d sing a few old rock n roll standards like Great Balls of Fire, and then proceed to smash the bejesus out of a cheap guitar (usually purchased for around twenty bucks at Wayne Fryer’s Music in Newton).

And in all my haste to finish the blog entry, I didn’t actually mention *how* I got the name of Captain Maniac! So here’s an effort to set the record straight: I’ve always been a Monty Python fan, so when I saw the old skit about Interesting People featuring Keith Maniac, I thought, “I’m using that name!”…

“Compère: Yes, great, well now for the first lime on television ‘Interesting People’ brings you a man who claims he can send bricks to sleep by hypnosis. Mr Keith Maniac from Guatemala. Keith, you claim you can send bricks to sleep.
Maniac: Yes, that is correct, I can…
Compère: Well, we have a brick here, Keith. (indicates brick on desk) Perhaps you can send it to sleep for us…
Maniac: Oh … Ah, well, I am afraid that is already asleep.
Compère: How do you know?
Maniac: Well, it’s not moving”

And the Captain part comes from 60s-early 70s parlance where famous people were Captain Something-or-Other, like Captain Midnight, Captain Canada etc.

Yes, it’s time for a commercial break, so why not go out to the kitchen and get a tall glass of something special, or… a zesty pizza! And while we’re at it, now’s a good time to mercilessly flog… er, I mean, PROMOTE our recent CD, “Hard Core Apple”, available where discerning audiophiles obtain their silver platters. Heck, we’ll even give you a head start:


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Sparkling Apple music is featured on yet another music-streaming service, this time Raditaz, which started up earlier this year. For the moment, the music is only available in the geographical USA.

“Raditaz is a free internet radio streaming music service for the web, iOS, and Android users can find stations not just based on artistssongs, andgenres, but also based on metadata tags, such as @work, @gym, #happy or @driving. Raditaz has a location layer that enables users to listen to and share stations that are trending throughout the US. The explore feature lets a user discover the latest music trends by location. Users can also share songs or stations by emailFacebookTwitter or Pinterest. Raditaz has more than 22 million songs and uses The Echo Nest music intelligence platform for creating stations. When a user inputs the name of a specific band, artist or song, Raditaz will create a station based on that musician along with similar artists.”